Suppressing the liquid product crossover in electrochemical CO2 reduction

Ning Wang, Rui Kai Miao, Geonhui Lee, Alberto Vomiero, David Sinton, Alexander H. Ip, Hongyan Liang*, Edward H. Sargent*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


Coupling electrochemical CO2 reduction (CO2R) with a renewable energy source to create high-value fuels and chemicals is a promising strategy in moving toward a sustainable global energy economy. CO2R liquid products, such as formate, acetate, ethanol, and propanol, offer high volumetric energy density and are more easily stored and transported than their gaseous counterparts. However, a significant amount (~30%) of liquid products from electrochemical CO2R in a flow cell reactor cross the ion exchange membrane, leading to the substantial loss of system-level Faradaic efficiency. This severe crossover of the liquid product has—until now—received limited attention. Here, we review promising methods to suppress liquid product crossover, including the use of bipolar membranes, solid-state electrolytes, and cation-exchange membranes-based acidic CO2R systems. We then outline the remaining challenges and future prospects for the production of concentrated liquid products from CO2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-16
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • CO reduction
  • bipolar membranes
  • liquid product crossover
  • solid-state electrolytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials


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